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Ilium by Dan Simmons

Ilium (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Dan Simmons

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,277501,676 (3.92)79
Authors:Dan Simmons
Info:HarperTorch (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 752 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, JHS?
Tags:21st century, american, science fiction

Work details

Ilium by Dan Simmons (2003)

  1. 30
    Olympos by Dan Simmons (JGolomb)
  2. 00
    The Iliad by Homer (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Worth familiarizing yourself with Homer so you can enjoy how closely this novel parallels its events.
  3. 00
    Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both books are part of a series involving the gods of the Ancient World, one is fantasy set in the past, the other science fiction in the far future. Each has an unusual viewpoint character.
  4. 01
    The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton (riodecelis)

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English (46)  French (3)  Spanish (1)  All (50)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
A remarkable sci fi novel that displays an incredible amount of knowledge and a very sly sense of humor and drama. If you are a fan of The Iliad, this almost 600 page epic (and there's a sequel!) will confuse and delight you immensely. There are three points of view: a historian is who on site (on Mars) tracking the actual progress of the Trojan War (did I say "on Mars" yet?) as it compares to Homer's epic poem; a duo of Shakespeare and Proust-loving robots, and a human whose non-epic goal is to seduce his first cousin. All converge in, on, and around Mount Olympus, which has also migrated to Mars. An outstanding adventure on every conceivable level. ( )
  froxgirl | Jul 15, 2016 |
Rocked My World

Homer, Proust, Shakespeare & Robert Graves – does it get any better? Literature freaks like me will love (or hate) this story of how robots and aliens hijack the Trojan war - while infantilized future human cattle watch. Sound strange? You bet.

You don’t have to know the classics to enjoy this fat, satisfying science fiction read (but it makes the “jokes” so much funnier – there is even a nod to Oz). I couldn’t put it down, and I’m anxious to read the sequel.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
The begining was difficult since I did not understand anything; I read it since I don't like buying a book and not read it; now I understand it's interesting but don't really like it...wait and see the end.
I Think it's too complex, too ambitous; finally I understood but did not like it much; I don't think I will read the sequels! ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
The novel centers on three main character groups; that of Hockenberry (a resurrected twentieth-century Homeric scholar whose duty is to compare the events of the Iliad to the events that he observes), Helen and Greek and Trojan warriors from the Iliad; Daeman, Harman, Ada and the other humans of Earth; and the "moravec" robots (named for scientist and futurist Hans Moravec), specifically Mahnmut the Europan and Orphu of Io. The novel is written in first-person, present-tense when centered on Hockenberry's character, but features third-person, past-tense narrative in all other instances. Much like Simmons' Hyperion where the actual events serve as a frame, the three groups of characters' stories are told over the course of the novel and their stories do not begin to converge until the end.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Starts off great; good writing, good story. However, it ends up in a mess, with lots of deus ex machinas. ( )
  sisyphist | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simmons, Danprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brèque, Jean-DanielTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Terwijl de geest, moe van de strijd,
zich verliest in gelukzaligheid:
de Geest, die grote Oceaan
waar al wat mogelijk is kan bestaan;
en waar, oneindig groot of klein,
ook andere landen, zeeën zijn,
en waar de schepping wordt herleid
tot een groene twijg van tijdelijkheid.

- Andrew Marvell, 'The Garden'
Vee kan men zich roven
en vetgemeste schapen,
ketels en roodbruine paarden,
maar het leven van de mens
keert nooit terug,
door roof nog koop,
als het eenmaal aan de
haag der tanden is ontsnapt.
- Achilles, in de Ilias van
Homerus, boek IX, 405 - 409
Een bitter hart dat zijn tijd verbeidt en bijt,
- Caliban, in Robert Browning, 'Caliban upon Setebos'
Wabash College
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Gods, Humans, Robots

History meeting future

Trojan War meets Mars


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380817926, Mass Market Paperback)

Genre-hopping Dan Simmons returns to science fiction with the vast and intricate masterpiece Ilium. Within, Simmons weaves three astounding story lines into one Earth-, Mars-, and Jupiter-shattering cliffhanger that will leave readers aching for the sequel.

On Earth, a post-technological group of humans, pampered by servant machines and easy travel via "faxing," begins to question its beginnings. Meanwhile, a team of sentient and Shakespeare-quoting robots from Jupiter's lunar system embark on a mission to Mars to investigate an increase in dangerous quantum fluctuations. On the Red Planet, they'll find a race of metahumans living out existence as the pantheon of classic Greek gods. These "gods" have recreated the Trojan War with reconstituted Greeks and Trojans and staffed it with scholars from throughout Earth's history who observe the events and report on the accuracy of Homer's Iliad. One of these scholars, Thomas Hockenberry, finds himself tangled in the midst of interplay between the gods and their playthings and sends the war reeling in a direction the blind poet could have never imagined.

Simmons creates an exciting and thrilling tale set in the thick of the Trojan War as seen through Hockenberry's 20th-century eyes. At the same time, Simmons's robots study Shakespeare and Proust and the origin-seeking Earthlings find themselves caught in a murderous retelling of The Tempest. Reading this highly literate novel does take more than a passing familiarity with at least The Iliad but readers who can dive into these heady waters and swim with the current will be amply rewarded. --Jeremy Pugh

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"From the towering heights of Olympos Mons on Mars, the mighty Zeus and his immortal family of gods, goddesses, and demigods look down upon a momentous battle, observing - and often influencing - the legendary exploits of Paris, Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, and the clashing armies of Greece and Troy." "Thomas Hockenberry, former twenty-first-century professor and Iliad scholar, watches as well. It is Hockenberry's duty to observe and report on the Trojan War's progress to the so-called deities who saw fit to return him from the dead. But the muse he serves has a new assignment for the wary scholic, one dictated by Aphrodite herself. With the help of fortieth-century technology, Hockenberry is to infiltrate Olympos, spy on its divine inhabitants ... and ultimately destroy Aphrodite's sister and rival, the goddess Pallas Athena.". "On an Earth profoundly changed since the departure of the Post-Humans centuries earlier, the great events on the bloody plains of Ilium serve as mere entertainment. Its scenes of unrivaled heroics and unequaled carnage add excitement to human lives devoid of courage, strife, labor, and purpose. But this eloi-like existence is not enough for Harman, a man in the last year of his last Twenty. That rarest of post-postmodern men - an "adventurer" - he intends to explore far beyond the boundaries of his world before his allotted time expires, in search of a lost past, a devastating truth, and an escape from his own inevitable "final tax."" "Meanwhile, from the radiation-swept reaches of Jovian space, four sentient machines race to investigate - and, perhaps, terminate - the potentially catastrophic emissions of unexplained quantum-flux emanating from a mountain-top miles above the terraformed surface of Mars."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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